Basic information Coinage in the Classical Period

Ancient Greek name: Aφροδισιάς
Latinized names: Aphrodisias, Venus1


Basic information

Aphrodisias was located near the present-day town of Yeşilovacık in the rural area of the Silifke District of Mersin Province, Turkey. It was situated on the eastern side of the isthmus joining the Cape Tisan with the hinterland. The city probably had harbours on both the western and eastern sides of the isthmus.2

The date of foundation is unknown. Pseudo-Skylax (c. 330 BC) describes it as a harbour (λιμήν).3 Diodorus Siculus mentions a battle near Aphrodisias that took place in 315 BC as part of the Wars of the Diadochi.4 No coins were minted here in the Roman period. Later, the town became part of the Byzantine Empire and was abandoned during the Middle Ages.

Stephanus of Byzantium (5th century AD) lists a total of 10 cities with this name.5


Coinage in the Classical Period

Silver denominations: Possibly staters, obols, hemiobols, tetartemorion and hemitetartemorions (Persian weight standard).
Bronze denominations: Not known.
City ethnic on coins: All coins uncertainly assigned to Aphrodisias are anepigraphic.
Further information: Coin Catalogue / Aphrodisias


1The name oppidum Veneris (“the town of Venus”) appears in Pliny’s Natural History, 5.22.

2Pseudo-Skylax, Periplous, 102; Hansen and Nielsen 2004, p. 1217.

3Pseudo-Skylax, Periplous, 102.

4Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 19.64.5–7.

5Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica, Vol. I, A.558.


14 July 2021 – 16 June 2023